Sunday, February 9, 2020

Judgment For Scatterers

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Last week, at the beginning of Jeremiah 23, the Lord God pronounces woe to the Pastors that scatter His sheep. The Hebrew "ra`ah (rah-ah’)" is the primitive root word meaning to graze, or to pasture. More specifically, a pastor is shepherd, a leader of sheep. One does not think about a flock without calling to mind the shepherd also. A pastor is that shepherd that leads God’s flock to fresh grazing, and good provender, providing protection and comfort as well. 

Israel was being led astray by false shepherds, by errant teachers and their bad teachings, by errant prophets and their false prophecies. The first half of chapter 23 was directed to the flock. Verses 10 and 11 tell us that the land was full of adulterers because the prophets and priests were all profane.

Today as we cover the second half of Jeremiah 23, the Lord directs Jeremiah to address the problematic sheep that are willing to graze on garbage, rather than healthy spiritual food; and to those prophets who speak presumptively in the name of the Lord, but who so far have not heard from the Lord at all! Their “Thus saith the Lord...” is nothing more than a lie, conjured up in their own minds. Insecure in their own faith relationship, they speak “popular things,” because 1) they want the flock to like them, and 2) because they do not want the flock to turn against them. That’s pride, based in a fear of man, rather than truth due to a healthy fear of the Lord! 

The Lord does not raise up shepherds, priests, and prophets for any reason other than to lead His flock, whom God knows have a tendency to wander. They are aloof and unprotected as they wander away from the flock. Sheep wandering away from good grazing become vulnerable to predators that will drag them further from the flock, and then tear them apart. 

Being a shepherd is not about being popular, it’s about faithfully tending to God’s flock. Warnings, corrections, teachings and instruction is good spiritual food. But not all good foods are easily chewed, digested, or liked! 

Perhaps you remember a least favorite food
that was doctored up so that you would eat it.
(for me, it was broccholi !)

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